The Goal I Want Us All to Reach on World Autism Awareness Day


I had the distinct honor of speaking at the United Nations on World Autism Awareness Day 2017. I talked about how individuals with autism can have fulfilling and productive lives. Now I’m addressing the rest of the world to step up and help enable the population of autistic individuals to reach these real human needs.

Living with autism often isn’t easy, no matter where a person is on the autism spectrum.  There are sensory issues, social challenges, physical challenges and more. We all work hard at overcoming the endless obstacles we face on a daily basis. Only we know how difficult these challenges can be. Those in our lives and the professionals who choose to work with individuals on the spectrum understand us more, too.

No matter how hard we all work to overcome these challenges, there still remains one we have yet to seize: Acceptance. 

This is the key necessary to unlock the door to the world for all with autism. We are all working tirelessly to gain the acceptance every human being desires. A new friend of mine on Facebook, Glenda, who has a daughter on the spectrum, said it well: “We are a force and we are in it to win it!” How true it is.

No matter how many times we fall, we get up and keep going. But we need help. We need the world to open their minds and their hearts to extend a hand to help their fellow humans.

“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.”  — Nelson Mandela

I found the following quote that I instantly knew was written from the heart:

“Acceptance is what we wish for ourselves and often deny others.” —  Susan L. Taylor.

Read those words out loud to yourself.  Think about this. You know that you want to be accepted. Ask yourself, why would you deny acceptance to another human being who was born different than yourself? They had nothing to do with this difference. They have the same needs and desires as you do.

Following the words of the great leader Nelson Mandela are thousands, tens of thousands of people, striving to educate the world about autism. It is my hope that the knowledge shared will be heard and transformed into acceptance. Allow us into this world to experience life as you do. Allow individuals with autism to get jobs they are seeking. They have the skills to perform well. When you see someone who’s different than yourself, smile at them. Don’t judge them. Give them a chance. Don’t underestimate them. They have gifts to offer, just like you do.

Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological differences are to be recognized and respected as any other human variation. Let 2018 be the year acceptance becomes a way of life. The world will be a much better place for everyone.

To hear my United Nations presentation on World Autism Awareness Day 2017 visit my website at www.anitalesko.com. Please help take this message around the world and share it.

Getty image by Tinatin1


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